ABC Political Director Heads to ‘NewsHour’

By kevin 

ABC News’ Political Director, David Chalian, joins “PBS NewsHour” to become its political editor as of this July, the program announced today. In addition to directing and managing political coverage for “NewsHour,” Chalian will also be appearing as an “on-camera political analyst.”

Chalian had been with ABC’s political unit since 2003. His departure is unrelated to the recent buyouts at the network. ABC News spokesperson Jeffrey Schneider tells TVNewser, “He is a terribly talented guy and will be a great asset to ‘The NewsHour.’ He put in years of great work at ABC News.”

“PBS NewsHour” went through a bit of an overhaul in the fall, changing its name as well as adding co-anchors and merging its television and digital staffs.


Read the PBS release after the jump.


Political Director of ABC News Will Lead PBS NewsHour Cross-Platform

Political Coverage and Appear On-Air and Online as Political Analyst

(ARLINGTON, VA) — David Chalian, longtime political director at ABC News, will join the PBS NewsHour — one of America’s most trusted news providers – as its political editor beginning July 6, 2010. In this new position, Chalian will direct the NewsHour’s political coverage across all broadcast and digital platforms. In addition to campaign politics, Chalian will manage the editorial content from the NewsHour’s congressional, White House, and Supreme Court beats. He will also serve as an on-camera political analyst, appear in regular political webcasts on the Online NewsHour ( and develop additional original digital political content.

“We are delighted to have David join the NewsHour” said Jim Lehrer, executive editor of the PBS NewsHour. “Politics has always been a major focus of the NewsHour and the 2010 election season is already shaping up to have a wealth of important stories. David will bring us the experience, talent and energy to invigorate our reporting and help us to deliver the political coverage our audience expects from the NewsHour.”

“David will also help us continue the transformation of the NewsHour, begun last December, to a multi-platform news operation,” added Linda Winslow, executive producer of the PBS NewsHour. “Since the relaunch we have seen our digital audience grow significantly. This tells us that there is still an audience out there hungry for smart, balanced, engaging coverage of the major stories of the day.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining the NewsHour,” remarked David Chalian. “The NewsHour has always distinguished itself with thoughtful and in-depth coverage of politics. I look forward to helping to bring the NewsHour audience political reporting and analysis that continues in that tradition. It is a great honor to join such a strong and
talented political team, including Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, David Brooks and Mark Shields.”

David Chalian has been a member of the ABC News political unit since 2003 and has served as political director since 2007. In this role, he helped to oversee the editorial content of all political news across ABC News’ broadcasts and platforms. Since March 2009, Chalian has co-anchored “TopLine” the daily political webcast produced as a joint venture between ABC News and the Washington Post.

During the 2008 presidential election, Chalian guided the editorial direction for all ABC News platforms from the primary season debates through the election. Throughout the cycle, he co-anchored “Politics Live,” a daily political program, with ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson on ABC News Now.

Chalian received an Emmy Award nomination as part of the team that traveled to Alaska to produce Sarah Palin’s first television interview as the GOP vice presidential nominee. In 2006, Chalian received the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University award as a part of the team at ABC News that produced the live coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.

Prior to joining ABC News, Chalian produced “Inside City Hall,” a widely acclaimed nightly political program for NY1 News. There he covered the 2001 New York City mayoral campaign, the 2002 gubernatorial campaign in New York, and the tragic events of September 11.

Chalian is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he majored in theatre and political science. He lives in Washington, D.C.